Just a few ideas to help you make the most of your visit
Set in the heart of Braithwaite village the Oak makes an excellent starting and finishing point for the wealth of walks that are close by. However we understand that walking is not for everyone, with this in mind over here are a few ideas of other things to do. We have not included everything as to do this the information would go on forever but these are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your visit.
The jewel of the Lakes nestling in the centre of Keswick. Whilst down at the lake call in at the Theatre by the Lake for a coffee in their excellent café, or book a show for during your stay. After leaving the theatre walk along the road that runs alongside the lake, this will take you to Friars Crag which has stunning views of the lake and fells. Alternatively take the hop on/off launch that leaves from the lake shore to access the footpaths on the western shores. For the less strenuous option stay aboard for the complete trip which will bring you back to Keswick after doing a circular tour of the lake. On your return try a game of golf in Hope Park, there is a 9 hole course, pitch & putt or crazy golf available so every ability is covered. Walk into the town centre to purchase the all important souvenirs then visit the Cumberland Pencil Museum or Keswick Spa (great for kids).
Travel into the town centre and have a walk along the main street, here you can take in Wordsworth’s Birthplace, and a tour of Jennings Brewery. From Cockermouth drive through the village of Lorton towards Buttermere, a superb flat walk around the lake is only 4 miles and the scenery breathtaking. Return to Braithwaite through Lorton via the Whinlatter Pass, stopping at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre on the way. If you are feeling brave have a go at “Go Ape” the ultimate tree top adventure that will set you pulse racing, or if mountain biking is your thing try out the Altura & Quercus trails through the forest. Cycle hire is also available at the visitor centre along with Siskins Café and a superb children’s play area. If you prefer return to Braithwaite from Buttermere via the Newlands Pass, again the scenery is worth it.
Alternatively leave Cockermouth and continue travelling west to explore the Georgian town of Whitehaven. Extensive work has taken place over the years and Whitehaven is worth a visit to see it’s attractions and harbour. If time permits travel on to the famous Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, and one of the best beaches in the area at St Bees.
Visit Mirehouse on the A591 Carlisle Road, also across the road take a stroll through Dodd Wood to the vantage point that is used to view the Lake Districts most famous couple – a pair of nesting ospreys, (Summer months only) you will however need a pair of binoculars!! Continue up the A591 taking in some stunning views of Bassenthwaite Lake as you go. If fishing is your thing why not try to get a bite on the Lake. When you reach Bassenthwaite head for the Lake District Animal Park, an absolute must for kids.
Head to Ullswater on the A66, if horseriding or adventure sports are your thing then Rookin House Farm can organise these for you. (prior booking essential) Stop at Rheged, the village in the hillside and see the movies on a giant cinema screen, marvel at the exhibitions or buy some local fayre in the specialist shops. Close to Reghedyou will also find Dalemain Country House. If it’s a short walk you are looking for drive to Glenridding at the end of Ullswater, follow the signs for Aira Force, a short easy walk to a stunning waterfall, or take the steamer around the lake. Test your driving skills over the Kirkstone Pass which will bring you down into the popular town of Ambleside. From here the whole of the Southern Lakes can be explored including Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Hawkshead, The Langdales, Kendal, Grasmere and Rydal.
We hope this gives a few ideas of things to do. The list is by no means complete and is purely to give hints as to places that are in similar directions to avoid unnecessary travel.
We do advise that you check opening times or availability of any attractions you may wish to visit to avoid disappointment. (Especially during our low season – October – Easter).
Braithwaite is a diverse village, the best way to see it is most definitely on foot, with this in mind we have included a few short walks which we hope will help you find your way around the village. Please feel free to take this information with you as we can always replace it!
Leave the Royal Oak car park and turn left up the road, then take another left turn down the road directly behind the pub. Where the road widens turn right in front of the Ivy House Hotel and Peter House – one of the oldest houses in the village. In front of you, you will see a bridge (formerly known as High Bridge) cross over the bridge and follow the tarmac road to the Methodist Church, this is now also used as accommodation for group holidays aswell as church services. The rough track behind the church leads to “the dam”, a pool of water originally built to stop the village flooding but now more commonly used by visitors and locals alike as an outdoor swimming pool in the summer months.
Continue along the tarmac road up the hill towards the Coledale Inn, from here you will be treated to some of the best views of the village. In front of the Coledale on your left you will see a footpath which will bring you back down to the beck and our village shop. Cross over the bridge (formerly known as Low Bridge) and turn immediately right. The courtyard buildings on your left were part of the last working farm in the village, and are now the Farmhouse Mews Holiday Cottages. Turn left immediately after the mews and walk through the lonnin to return to the Royal Oak.
Walk time approximately 20 – 30 minutes
Leave the Royal Oak car park and turn left, opposite our side door you will see a road leading up the hill on your right, walk up here. Continue along the road until you reach the end of all of the houses below you. Opposite the last house on the right (the only one actually on the road you are walking along, called Howe End) you will see a public footpath sign on your left and a gate. Go through the gate and following the footpath, look behind you to take in a beautiful view of Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake.
The footpath will lead you right back to the village, so stay on the path and you can’t go wrong! On the way you will see the beginning of Whinlatter Forest and a little further on in a clearing the Hope Memorial Camp which is group holiday accommodation. When you reach the gate that takes you onto the road, cross over* and carry on following the track through the trees – along it the track is very narrow and nearly always wet and slippery so please take care. At the end of the track is a small footbridge which crosses over the beck. On your left you will see the Methodist Church, walk towards this and follow the road down to the bridge. Cross over the bridge then take a right turn down the road to the Ivy House Hotel, here turn left and arrive back at the Royal Oak back door.
* TAKE CARE WHEN CROSSING THE ROAD AS CARS ARE COMING FAST IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. CARS COMING FROM THE RIGHT CANNOT BE SEEN UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT.
Walk time approximately 45minutes – 1 hour
Turn right out of the Royal Oak car park and walk through the lonnin to the road. Turn right past the Mews cottages to the bridge and take a left turn over the bridge. Continue walking along the road past all of the houses on your left until you leave the village behind you. Once past the houses look across the field for some beautiful views of Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake. Continue walking along the road until you reach the fork junction, take the left hand fork and walk down the road until the farm, here you will see a public footpath sign and a well marked track leading past the barn into a field. Follow the track through the gate and walk down to the well marked path that runs parallel to the river, this will bring you back to the village via the campsite. Either cut through the campsite and make your way back to the pub along the road or follow the beck around the outskirts of the campsite and walk through the lonnin to return to the pub.
Walk time approximately 20 – 30 minutes
The three walks are designed to help you find your way around the village; none of the walks are hard or involve the need of any specialist equipment!! However please do remember before setting out on these or any other walks that our weather can change very quickly and very dramatically so it is always advisable to carry a lightweight waterproof with you.
All of the above walks are circular and can be combined or added to suit your own requirements and ability.